What is Salkehatchie?

The Salkehatchie name comes from a river that flows through the coastal plain of South Carolina, where many of the towns and neighborhoods we serve are located. Just like the river, Salkehatchie’s service follows a course through time that is influenced by location, people, circumstances and historical events.

J ohn Culp, the founder and ever-present shepherd, started leading youth groups into dedicated service back in 1978. A group of 40 United Methodists stepped into the lives of four families affected by some of the worst poverty in America. They worked tirelessly for one week restoring dilapidated houses on the Sea Islands of South Carolina. With one week of work, the lives of these youth and families had been forever transformed.

This small group has now transformed into 46 Camps and 2,000+ campers every summer.

The Salkehatchie Summer Service is an autonomous mission supported entirely by its participants, the communities it serves, and the United Methodist Church Conference of South Carolina.

It’s More Than Just a Summer Camp
It’s a Life Changing Week

Salkehatchie is more than just a church outreach program. It is more than just a volunteer group and it is more than just a summer youth camp. Salkehatchie is faith in action. Youth volunteers head into rural, low-income towns to work in difficult conditions, allowing themselves to be the face, hands and feet of Christ.

Volunteers spend one week:

  • Performing home repairs in teams, doing projects as small as a building a ramp or as big as remodeling an entire kitchen.
    (All skill sets are welcomed and encouraged.)
  • Making a bond with families of different backgrounds than their own.
  • Learning about teamwork and making friendships that last a lifetime.

Salkehatchie strips youth of their familiar roles for seven days. Experience the significance of going unplugged, with a limited regimen in an open learning environment. You will be encouraged to do things for yourself, problem solve and learn from one another.

Salkehatchie teaches you the true meaning of life and love. You experience true humility, joy, and peace as you give your time and money to restore a home and a family. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share God’s love with the people I am helping. I love showing people the love of Jesus and be his “hands and feet.” Salkehatchie has made me a better person who can see beauty in people and situations.

4th Year Camper

As a result of attending this mission project, I have felt a transformation in my own life. I no longer take a nice home, warm meals, clothing and a caring, loving family for granted. More important, I now know the meaning of unconditional love, the true love of Jesus Christ. I envision His love being spread even to that small, two-room house on an island off the coast of SC.

1st Year Camper

I experienced the greatest sense of personal closeness with God that I had ever known. He helped me to realize many things about myself and his purpose in bringing people’s lives together. He helped me to use the talents He had given me to help someone less fortunate than I.

1st Year Camper

United Methodist Church Conference of South Carolina

The Salkehatchie Summer Service camps are a program of the South Carolina Conference Board of Global Ministries. Service camps are designed for United Methodist Youth in SC, but we encourage and welcome all faiths.